The US President Barack Obama and American health authorities have appealed to the public to vaccinate their children as the country faces a measles outbreak. The resurgence of the disease in the US coincides with a movement of some parents who are refusing to vaccinate their children, as they believe that vaccines against deadly diseases are dangerous.
Measles causes fever and rash and in severe cases it can lead to pneumonia or brain swelling. The disease is air-borne and is highly contagious. Many people do not vaccinate their children as they fear a triple vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella is responsible for increasing cases of autism, a theory repeatedly disproven by several studies. There are other people who refuse vaccination on religious or political grounds.
Considered to be eradicated from the US in 2000, measles re-emerged in December in an outbreak clustered around the Disneyland amusement park in California. Since then, 102 measles cases have been reported in 14 states according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Head of the CDC Tom Frieden said, "We are very concerned by the growing number of people who are susceptible to measles and the possibility that we could have a large outbreak in this country as a result."
President Obama while trying to convince skeptical parents said, "I understand that there are families that, in some cases, are concerned about the effect of vaccinations. The science is, you know, pretty indisputable. We have looked at this again and again. There is every reason to get vaccinated, but there are not reasons to not."